A few months ago, it looked like Apple would be granted an exemption from the 30% local sourcing norms mandatory for foreign brands setting up shop in India. However, the government announced last week that it would not permit the vendor from being exempt. According to a new report in ET Tech, Apple will not set up retail stores in the country if the government doesn't grant it permission from sourcing norms:
Apple wants a no-obligation clearance for setting up its stores, since it is not sure about manufacturing anything in the country immediately. It had plans to refurbish iPhones in India and sell it to consumers, but since the proposal has been turned down, local activity around it too is not going to happen.
There is a chance that the ruling from last week — which came from the finance ministry — will be overturned, as the commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said earlier this week that they're looking into the issue:
We took a line that we would not mind waiving the 30% local sourcing norm for Apple. Now, the finance ministry has taken a different position. We will examine the matter in consultation with the finance ministry.
Should Apple be exempt from the sourcing norms, we will likely see the first Apple retail stores in the country sometime next year.